Hey! Randy

Archive for November, 2011

Pay Attention to the Man Behind the Mask

Posted by heyrandy on November 29, 2011

Lincoln Unmasked, Thomas DiLorenzo, 2006

The paint is pealing on the Lincoln portrait. The truth is leaking out about Abe. The Lincoln cult is failing. It is about time. Thomas DiLorenzo is amount the scholars doing history a rare service: telling the truth. When it comes to Abe, fiction reigns. No American president has received better press that Abraham Lincoln. University historians have been relentless in their protection of the Lincoln myth. You know the myth: you learned it in school. It is not the myth about the cherry tree cutting down an ax. That president has not been so lucky. It is the myth of how noble, selfless, and principled President Lincoln was.

DiLorenzo debunks all that. Dilorenzo exposes Lincoln as the corrupt, railroad-own bigot he was. Freed the slaves? Only those still under rebel control. (Read the Emancipation Proclamation.) Preserve the Union? Preserve the northern State’s protective tariffs on imported manufactured goods, and so transfer the wealth of the south to the northern banks. Built the Transcontinental Railroad to open the west? Loot the southern (and northern) taxpayers to help the few who had land near the tracks. Lincoln was one.

The author shows Lincoln as a liar, a cheat, and a pawn. The railroads owned Lincoln. Lincoln saw his opportunities and took them. Others paid.

DiLorenzo shows how Lincoln never wanted to free the slaves. He  wanted to deport them. He did not want them in the new, western territories. Lincoln wanted so badly to free the slaves he agreed to a proposed constitutional amendment that would have forbidden government interference with slavery.

This is not the stuff of school text books. There is a reason for that: the Lincoln cult. DiLorenzo shows how the accepted version of history has beguiled a nation for generations.

The text of the book is only 183 pages, but information fills those pages. There is an appendix entitled “What They Don’t Want You to Read.” Use it to do your homework. DiLorenzo’s book is a must read for every American history curriculum. Attention homeschoolers!

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Seeing the Shadows in the Mirrors

Posted by heyrandy on November 23, 2011

Shadow Masters, Daniel Estulin, 2010

Estulin, author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, has given us a new book along the same lines. This time he focuses not on the Bilderberg meetings but on what he thinks comes out of and is related to the meetings.

The author goes to great effort to sort through the information. Much of what is openly published is false. Some of it is so obviously false that one has to wonder how it got past the editor. This is not a small problem Estulin has worked through hundreds of reports from government agencies, UN agencies, and news reports. In this mountain of nonsense there is an occasional nugget.

This is the real value of the book. It exposes the complicity and incompetence of the accepted media. No one is doing the real hard work of digging past the easy to quote official report. Worse, Estulin shows that the media are often merely quoting each other, something he believe betrays a systemic misinformation effort.

Estulin’s thesis is that nothing is as it seems. He quotes one American diplomat as saying that it is all “a wilderness of mirrors.” Nothing is certain, nothing makes sense, but it is all there. The case of the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko is an example. Litvinenko was poisoned in London, England. This is not all that odd, but the poison used makes this case one for the wilderness of mirrors. Just where does one get polonium 210? I checked in the nuclear material section at Home Depot, but they were out. Why such an exotic material? Why such a slow acting one? This case screams “Weird!” This is not what you want in a political assassination.  You want quick and quiet. This way investigators do not get suspicious. Litvinenko lived long enough to blame almost everyone. This was not a quiet killing.

The book’s sub-title indicates that the author reveals how “governments and their intelligence agencies are working with international drug dealers and terrorists for their mutual benefit.” Estulin does not quite prove this. He does prove that there is a lot of duplicity in government dealings. Estulin spends a lot of time on how the US government used Victor Bout, a Russian ne’er-do-well whom the US government later tried to demonize, for logistical operations in Iraq. Unlike others who have written about Bout, Estulin actually traveled to Thailand to interview Bout at the prison where Bout is held while he fights the US government’s extradition effort. Bout is wanted for allegedly conspiring to sell anti-aircraft missiles to undercover Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents posing as Colombian terrorists. This is legal in Thailand because the agents were not really terrorists or even Colombians. They were US citizens. Estulin wants to know why DEA agents were doing the buying. He also wants to know why the DEA did not give the $20,000 to Bout when Bout asked for it as advance on the missiles. This would have been valuable evidence for the prosecution. The third thing Estulin wants to know is why the US authorities did not check Thai law before launching this sting operation. I would like to know too.

I found the book a bit disorganized. I can overlook this because the author is careful to provide reference notes at the end of each chapter. There is also an index. There are 107 pages of photographs (mostly of Bilderberg attendees) and reproduced documents at the end of the book. This will be a valuable resource for future research. Future research is needed. The book does not give all the answers, but it does make us aware of the wilderness and just how uncertain everything is when it is a forest of mirrors.

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They Are Still Not Free

Posted by heyrandy on November 11, 2011

They Thought They Were Free, Milton Meyer, University of Chicago Press, 1955

A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker, not quite. Actually it is a tailor, an unemployed tailor’s apprentice, a cabinetmaker, an unemployed salesman, a high-school student, a baker (one out of three), a bill-collector, an unemployed bank clerk, a teacher, and a policeman. These are the people the author interviews to find out how the National Socialist German Workers Party (the Nazis) came to power.

All of the interviewees describe themselves as “little men.” In America we would call them “nobodies.” That is what they were, and that is why the Nazis came to power. The nobody became somebody–a little somebody. The ten men reveal how easy it was for the Nazis to take over. Each of the ten expresses some weakness to which the Nazis were able to pander.

The Nazis came to power during a time of great uncertainty. The Nazis promised certainty. The Nazis explained how the Germans lost the Great War: the nation was betrayed. The Nazis provided enemies: the “Jews.” The Nazis provided the answers: blood and soil. The people bought it.

Membership in the Nazi Party was never mandatory. Party membership had an elite aura. To be a party member meant that you were someone important. It also made it easier to keep or get a job. Many of the non-members did not join because they could not afford the dues.

The ten men were asked why they did not oppose the atrocities. Their answers are scary. The horrors of the extermination of the Jews (and of others) were dismissed as enemy propaganda. Some of the ten men did not know of the atrocities until after the war. Some denied that they were true.  All ten did not know anyone involved in or anyone who knew anyone involved in the “final solution.” In wartime enemy propaganda and rumors are everywhere. One of the ten was told of the American roundup and incarceration of the ethnic Japanese living on the west coast. The man asked the author what he did about it. The man pointed out that the author knew about it because it was reported in the American newspapers. The German press never reported anything about the concentration camps. “It would not have done any good to protest. The Supreme Court ruled that it was legal,” said the author. The man replied, “It was legal under German law, and it would have done no good. You would have been arrested.”

The author did not reveal to the men that he was Jewish. None of the men guessed. One of the ten said that he could tell if a German was a Jew. All ten denied believing in the Aryan race doctrine. One of the men  related a joke going around. “How do you know a man is an Aryan? An Aryan is tall like Hitler, blonde like Goebbels, and lithe like Goring.” “Only university students believe that race science nonsense.”

The book is instructive as to how the Nazis were able to take over. If you were to bring totalitarianism here, the book gives ten testimonies on how to do it.

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The Test to Take Before You Take the Get into College Test

Posted by heyrandy on November 9, 2011

Many people worry about their college aptitude test. The test is usually the ACT or the SAT. There is really no need to worry. If you have a pulse and your check doesn’t bounce, you can get into college. Face reality: Ivy League is not in most people’s future. You are most people. Be thankful for this. You could be accepted into America’s OxBridge. It will cost you a fortune to get an education that is little better than you would have received at Obscure U. If you actually used the library at OU, you education would have been much better. The degree you receive at High End U does grant you name dropping rights, but the snob factor is not worth the cost. Your four year party to develop an useful friends list and perfect your beer drinking skills is rained on and reined in by cost considerations.

This is why you need the Hey Randy Test (HRT) of college material. There is no need to travel to far away Dream College only to find out that the C you made in English could have just as easily been made locally. Think of it as helping the buy local movement. Unlike the ACT or the SAT, the HRT is not an aptitude test. Nor is it an altitude test. It is an attitude test. Take at your own risk.

1. What were the last 10 book I read that were not assigned as required reading?

2. I have an A average in all my classes excepting Shop or PE.

3. If I can, I always sign up for classes taught by teachers with the reputation for the toughest grading.

4. I watch less than five hours of television a week.

5. I believe college debt will be easily repaid once I graduate and get the high-paying job that my degree will open the door to.

6. When I encounter a word I do not know I find out what it means.

7. I ask my teachers for additional work or reading even if no additional credit is to be given.

8. I have a reading list, some of which I developed from reading lists I received from university department  chairmen to whom I have written. (Double points if you requested the graduate school reading list.)

9. I can correctly use the words lay and lie.

10. This test reveals that I have a lot of work to do.

Assignment: develop a grading scale for this test. Think of this as you first college assignment, beer not included.

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Life is Unbalanced

Posted by heyrandy on November 8, 2011

The 80/20 Principle Richard Koch Currency Doubleday, 1998

Life is not fair. This cliché is known by all. It is fought against by many. All fighters lose. Koch explains why: Alfredo Pareto. Pareto was an 18th century economist who discovered that the bulk of a nation’s wealth was held by a minority of its population and that it was held in a fixed ratio: 20% of the population typically holds 80% of the wealth.

This ratio is true in almost every area. 20% of you house’s living space gets 80% of the use. 80% of your driving is to 20% of the places you go. 20% of your friends will give you 80% of your enjoyment. The list is endless.

Koch’s thesis is that you cannot fight successfully the principle, but you can use it. Things will always be out of balance. It is your job to work this imbalance to your advantage. How do you do this?

Changing your nation’s wealth to ownership ratio is beyond your ability. But if you look into your own life you can use the imbalance principle to be more effective, happier, and richer. First you must realize that all things are not equal. Twice as much effort does not result in twice as much effect. Sometimes it results in more, sometimes less. You have to use your knowledge of the 80/20 principle to put your effort where it is most effective. Twice as many sales calls do not result in twice as many sales. Twice as many sales do not result in twice the profits.

The ratio is not always 80/20, but it is seldom 50/50 for long. Koch says to concentrate on the “vital few.” By this he means those customers, employees, or friends who do the most and are the best. The other 80% must be accorded the attention due them. In business it may mean closing plants, ending product production, or outsourcing less critical areas.

I applied the 80/20 principle to the book: I read only 20% of it. I am sure I got the vital 80%.

Clean up your life. Simplify your work. Evaluate your finances. Use the 80?20 principle to help. You have to. 20% of your adversaries will.

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Nemesis Visits the Americans in Iraq

Posted by heyrandy on November 5, 2011

We Meant Well, Peter Van Buren, 2011

Why is getting in so easy, but getting out is difficult? The military did a superb job of ousting The Evil One, but the peace is killing us. Van Buren gives us an account of the year he spent in Iraq as a State Department Field Service Officer (FSO). His job was to help rebuild Iraq. His job was to do the impossible with all the resources American money could buy. American money bought a lot of resources, but the effects were not what was planned.

Van Buren was given virtually no training on what to do, how to do it, or who to do it with. This is the way things are in American dominated Iraq. Just throw lots of money and people at an ill understood problem and all will be well in the end. The end being the end of your year-long tour .

The author’s experience was one of careerism, rivalry with the US Army, inept contractors, and Iraqis who have learned to say the right things to get American money. There was no accountability. Projects were driven by the politically correct fad of the moment. No one ever considered the history, culture, or the religious differences of the area. The prevailing thought was to take what might work in America and transplanted it in Iraq. The effect was just a waste of money. Billions were lost. No one cared.

Van Buren immediately upon arrival in Iraq discovered that cost was never considered. He was asked to approve projects where no one had tried to get a lower price. His subordinates told him that competitive bidding was not done by his predecessors.

Image was everything. Get photographs of the head of some project cutting the ribbon on the newly built building so the people upstairs (and back home) can see how much progress is being made. The lack of electricity, clean water, or garbage removal were not concerns. They did not show in the photograph.

Van Buren says that the closest they came to a successful project was their attempt at 4H. While the alliteration is lost in the translation to Arabic, the underlying principles were kept. He says the reasons this program did so well were they did not need approval from the embassy, the army was not involved, they spent no money, and they turned the whole thing over to the Iraqis as soon as it was started. This is not a formula for career advancement.

No one wanted to go to Iraq. But you had to go for the sake of your career. You were typically assigned for a year. Everyone had their exit date marked on their calendars. Get you Iraqi ticket punched and get out. As long as you were there and spent money you were set.

I read this book and experienced laughing, crying, and screaming– all at the same time. You will too.

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